What to do after you’ve secured a new freelance project

Congratulations! You’ve secured a freelance project, but now what? Learn what steps you need to take to manage your freelance project here.
What to do after you’ve secured a new freelance project

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More than 30% of Americans are freelancing. The competition is tougher than ever before. High-paying projects can get hundreds of pitches and bids.

If you've just landed a freelance project, you might be wondering what to do next. Should you build a team and assign tasks, make a plan, or reach out to your client for more information? What about the tools needed for the job?

The answer depends on the size and type of the project. Writing a series of blog posts, for instance, is something you can do on your own. In this case, you probably don't need an entire team and specialized software.

A more complex project, on the other hand, requires expert knowledge and industry-specific tools. You may need to outsource certain tasks and invest in new software programs.

Either way, proper planning is essential. Here's what you should know about managing new projects as a freelancer—and how to do it right!

Assess the project requirements

First things first, double-check the project requirements. Research the company and its previous projects, learn more about its mission, and study its website.

Let's say you need to write a white paper. Take these steps before getting started:

  • Research the topic and make a list of resources
  • Search for other reports and white papers published by your client
  • Browse their website and social media pages to get a sense of their writing style
  • Ask the client for more information about the project

If you need to create an app or website, you'll likely need to take extra steps. What matters most is to conduct thorough research and keep an open line of communication with the client.

Next, use these strategies to ensure project success!

Understand the scope

Make sure you understand the scope of the project you're working on. This includes all related tasks, deliverables, timelines, and limitations.

Reach out to your client to clarify these aspects. Let him know about any limitations to achieving what you were asked to do.

Get organized

Once you've got the information you need, organize your files, project plans, and resources. Use Google Drive or create a folder and save it on your computer. Include the following:

  • Client information
  • Contracts
  • Project requirements and guidelines
  • Schedule
  • Image files
  • Resources (e.g.: links to relevant websites and industry journals)

Consider using Hectic to streamline this process. With Hectic, you can store, manage, and share project files, client info, and other details—all from one centralized location.

Build an effective team

Project management comes with its share of challenges. Depending on what you're working on, you may need a pair of helping hands to get things done.

A web designer, for example, can easily set up a three- or five-page website. But it's one thing to build a small site and another thing to create an online store with hundreds or thousands of product pages.

Things get even more complicated if the client expects you to write product descriptions and follow the best SEO practices. In this case, it makes sense to outsource certain tasks, such as:

  • Project management
  • Web development
  • UI/UX design
  • SEO (search engine optimization)
  • Content writing
  • QA testing

Outsourcing will not only free up your time but also increase the odds of project success. By collaborating with other experts, you're more likely to meet the client's expectations and manage project risk effectively.

Establish clear guidelines

Look for freelancers on LinkedIn, Indeed, Upwork, Fiverr, and other job boards. Share a few details about your project and then evaluate each application.

Once you have a team in place, establish clear guidelines and expectations. Write down your requirements and send them to your team members. Make sure you include the following:

  • Who is responsible for what
  • Whether they should be tracking time
  • When they should be online
  • Goals and milestones for each team member
  • Communication channels and collaboration tools
  • Payment terms

Even if you work alone, you still need to set some rules. Make a to-do list and break large tasks into small, manageable pieces. Create a daily schedule and stick to it.

Try to identify and maximize your peak productivity hours. Track your time to determine when you're most focused and creative. Use a website blocker to reduce distractions and get more done.

Start with the hardest tasks

Business Insider recommends tackling the hardest tasks first. This can make it easier to avoid procrastination and kick off your new freelance project.

Most people tend to delay difficult tasks and prioritize the easiest ones. As a result, they end up postponing things and missing deadlines.

Starting with the hardest tasks can boost your productivity and help you stay on track. At the same time, it allows you to identify potential roadblocks and find solutions before it's too late.

Another option is to tackle difficult tasks during your peak productivity hours. Work on smaller tasks later in the day or when you feel less focused.

Keep your clients in the loop

Sometimes, it's hard to tell what a customer expects—especially if you've never worked together before. You could complete the entire project and then realize that he's not satisfied with the results.

Stay on the safe side and keep your clients in the loop. Send them regular reports and ask for feedback every week or so, depending on the type of project.

For example, if you're writing an eBook for a client, ask him to check the first few pages before you move forward. This will allow him to review your style and tone—and make suggestions as needed.

Kick-off your new freelance project

The best thing you can do when starting a new freelance project is to plan things out. Research your clients and their business goals, ask questions, and get organized. Provide regular updates on your work and break large tasks into small pieces

We're here to make your job easier. With Hectic, you can bring your team together and take the stress out of project management.

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Our team of career freelancers writes about best invoice practices, what makes a great client, and repeats the mantra, "never work without a contract." We're opinionated about the future of work and will always be on the side of freelancers.
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